Category Archives: Cookin

Spicy Short Ribs With Chile Sauce

This pepper sauce is a great basic all-around pepper blend that would go great on lots of meats. Today it’s short ribs.

  • 4 lbs short ribs
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes  ( Or use Smoky Bourbon pepper blend if you have it handy….. has habaneros)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 tomato, beefsteak
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • Mashed potatoes or polenta

Preheat your oven to 325 then get to work on the sauce ingredients.

De-seed and remove the placentas from the bell pepper and the jalapenos. Dice all of the peppers, onion and tomato, set aside in a bowl.

Get your nice cast iron skillet, add the oil and brown all sides of the ribs, then set aside.

Now put all the stuff you chopped up into the pan with the garlic, salt, pepper, pepper flakes, lemon juice, everything but the meat should be in the pan.

Cook until the onions are translucent, then place the ribs in a single layer in the sauce. Dribble the sauce over the ribs then place the pan in the oven, covered (tin foil was fine) for 3 or so hours or until the meat is falling off the bone…… Check a couple of times to add water if the sauce is drying out, and dribble the sauce and drippings over the ribs.

Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta, enjoy!

Spicy Cast Iron Cottage Pie

I’ve been on a one-pan cast iron kick lately. This is a slightly spicy cottage pie, but you can leave the spicy stuff out and just use a generic Italian spice blend.

Recipe is for a 12″ cast iron pan.

  • 3 lbs russet spuds
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 2 cups peas and carrots
  • Fine chopped onion
  • 2lbs 93% lean ground cow
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour.
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic Grappa Spice blend, or generic Italian spice blend.
  • 1 Cup broth (chicken or beef)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce.


  1. 1/4 then boil the spuds in pot with 1 tablespoon salt, then simmer til soft ( 8-10-  minutes)
  2. Drain then place back in pan, mash til smooth.
  3. Whisk in milk, 1/4 stick of butter & egg, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.


  1. Heat 12″ cast iron pan over medium heat
  2. Melt in the leftover 1/4 stick of butter
  3. Add carrots, peas and onions, dash of salt, cook til soft ( 5 minutes)
  4. Add ground beef, cook til browned. Break it up as you go.
  5. Add tomato paste, garlic and spices and cook for a minute.
  6. Mix in flour, cook another minute or so
  7. Add Worcestershire sauce and broth, stir well.
  8. Season to taste
  9. Simmer and mix until filling thickens up where you like it, 10-12 minutes.

Start your broiler.

  • Layer the spuds onto the filling with wide spoon or one of those rubber spatulas.
  • Make a design into the top, something with ridges.
  • Broil 5-6 inches from the broiler until the ridges crisp up.
  • Let it cool and firm up 10-15 minutes.

Devour with 5-6 of your friends. Or, package into individual lunch containers for the week if you have no friends.




Fast, fun and easy: pull apart pizzas!

If you don’t like Pizza, you are a communist.

My kids love making these. they are fast, they can help, and taste delicious. You will need a little mini bundt pan
but I bet just about any non stick pan will do just fine. You just won’t have awesome little mini pull apart pizzas without one.

The ingredients can vary  alot depending on what pizza you like but this is what I had in the fridge:

  • 3 cans instant biscuit dough
  • 3 cups shredded cheese ( I like 2 cups mixed pizza and one cup shredded parmesan)
  • 2 tbs Italian seasoning mix
  • 2 tbs garlic power or minced garlic if you are all fancy.
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 12 oz pizza topping. We like 8 oz mini pepperonis and 4 oz Canadian bacon. Mix and match. Go nuts.

Preheat the oven to 350.


Put some olive oil in a bowl , enough to cove the bottom. Cut the biscuits into 4ths and place into the bowl.


Add a little olive oil just enough to keep the pieces from all sticking together. Toss the bits around to keep them oiled. Use JUST enough oil to lightly glaze the  pieces.


Slowly mix in all of the other ingredients.  Mix the dough bits around while you add and get them mixed uniformly.


Put the ingredients into your mini bundt pan or whatever you are cooking these in . Any cake pan or regular bundt cake pan should do fine.


It only takes about 10 minutes to bake at 350. As soon as the dough is done, take them out.


Throw a some marinara or pizza sauce on the plate for dipping and you have a fast dinner the kids will love helping with! The little pizza breads pull right apart!


Stiffado – Greek beef and onion stew!

It’s been really cold out lately so I’m going to be doing lots of crock-pottery this winter. This great Greek style beef dish makes a great entree poured over potatoes or noodles!


  • 2-3 lbs stew meat
  • 3 large onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic of 4 tbsp minced garlic.
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 12 oz ( one can) tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

First brown up the beef in a little oil and spoon it over into your crockpot with a slotted spoon, you want to leave the beef juice in  the pan.



On medium heat, add the diced onions and cook until soft.  Then mix in the cinnamon, garlic and allspice for a couple minutes.


Then dump everything else except the cheese in and let it get hot for a couple minutes.


Put it all in the crockpot and cook on high for 4 hours or medium for 7-8 hours.
Melt most of your feta cheese into the pot 10-15 minutes before serving, and save a little to sprinkle on top.

Ladle that hot sweet and rich meat stew over some potatoes or noodles and enjoy!


Crock pot sweet and spicy baby back ribs

If you aren’t quite up to setting up the smoker all day, a fast crock pot of baby back ribs is a great way to cook up a mess of ribs fast for a picnic or dinner.

This recipe will do 2 full racks of baby back ribs. Here is what you will need:

First and foremost: remove the membrane from the back of the racks.

Then dry rub with a good rib rub, cover with plastic wrap or foil, and let marinade in that rub overnight in the fridge.


Place in halves into the crock pot, meat side out, for 4-5 hours. I prefer to start on high for an hour or an hour and a half, then warm for the rest. When you get done with the high part, there will be a nice amount of fluid int he bottom that will continue to soak into the meat. I will also flip them over about halfway through.


When  you are about 30 to 45 minutes form serving, the meat will be nearly falling off the bone. Apply a generous amount of sauce to them and let them cook on high with the lid off the rest of the time.
I don’t like to cook it until it falls off the bone because I like a little bite to them and if they fall apart when you are serving them or taking them out of the pot, it ruins the rib-on-the-bone fun!


Slice them up and enjoy!



Tonguespanked Wasabi Sake salmon

The Wasabi Sake is my new favorite seasoning for fish. If you haven’t gotten a sample or joined in their kickstarter at, I highly recommend it.

The recipe is pretty easy and is essentially two  parts: frying the fish, and the sauce.

Get the sauce ready:

  • 1 tablespoon Tonguespank Wasabi Sake spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup  chicken broth. Use canned, or make some with 1/3 tablespoon chicken bullion and 1/3 cup water.
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

The fish fry:

  • 4 4 ounce salmon fillets
  • 2/3 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil. Any other frying oil will work if you don’t have any, it just won’t be as awesome.

The frying process is pretty easy:

  1. Put the egg white and Panko in separate flat plates or containers. Oil in the pan, get it medium hot.
  2. Coat both sides of the salmon in egg white
  3. Place the salmon in the Panko, coat both sides
  4. Fry about 3 minutes per side on medium heat.
  5. About a minute into the second side, dribble that sauce all over the fish.




Tonguespank liquor & pepper seasonings review

The fine folks at were kind enough to provide some extremely manly booze-infused spices for me to try out. If you haven’t heard of them, they are a Chicago-based bottler of awesome, using Kickstarter to help fund their expansion.

If you have heard about of or wanted to know what kickstarting is about, check out their kickstarter page at Tonguespank Kickstarter.

Kickstarters are companies that use word-of-mouth to get funds to help get their products launched. The crowd-sourcing movement was accidentally started by  prog-rock keyboardist Mark Kelly of Marillion who floated an idea to their fans of pre-paying for their music after parting ways with their label. Tonguespank hits the nail on the head of kickstarting by offering excellent incentives, community and feeling like you are part of something special and exciting. (Mark Kellys Ted talk on crowdsourcing here).

Tonguespank isn’t out pushing the umpteen-hundredth  iphone case or speculating about some indie film project on kickstarter. They are making something you can tell they love, their supporters love, and I now love. So, on with the review:

Booze, spices? Yes please! I love to cook with pepper heat and their selection of spices spans from a rich smoky blend to a Moruga Scorpion blend that will please the hottest chili-head.


Here’s the rundown:

  • Smoky Bourbon
  • Wasabi Sake
  • Garlic Grappa. (Ya I had to look Grappa up too)
  • Scorpion Bourbon.

I put the Wasabi Sake and Garlic Grappa on some chicken tenderloins like a rub and let them soak it in overnight.


I mixed 1 teaspoon of each into 1/4 pound of 80/20 burger meat and let it stand with some salt and pepper for a couple hours. Grill 5 minutes per side.

This is the only pic I could get of the chickens. The Wasabi Sake is my favorite one for chicken. They looked and smelled so good they went straight from the grill to fork, to ravenous mouths. The Garlic Grappa blackened up a little cajun-style and tasted great.
The aroma while cooking was divine. The Garlic Grappa burger was of course, great.  I threw some Tillamook pepperjack cheese and an egg over that Scorpion Bourbon patty and it was ready to go! The scorpion spice actually comes on fast and  makes an excellent hot-pepper patty.

So if you want to get in and get some great spices, get the tonguespankers!


Great local Utah smoky mac and cheese

The only thing my kids order when we go out is mac and cheese. Figured I could use the great local Seahive cheese I got in my local food challenge bundle and try it out.

  • 16 oz macaroni, spiral or shell pasta.
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2  cups milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups grated cheddar
  • 6 oz ( about 2 cups) grated Seahive cheese. (One 6 oz wedge)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, white pepper, chili powder
  • 1-2 drops liquid smoke
  • 1 Heaping tablespoon chopped onion.
  • 1-2 cups panko or breadcrumbs.

First have your pasta made. After draining, place it back in the pot you boiled it in. Preheat the oven to 400.

With a sauce pan, fry cook up the onions in the margarine until all soft, then mix in the flour with a whisk.

Mix in the milk slowly and bring it hot enough to melt the cheese, constantly whisking the milk as it heats so it doesn’t burn. Mix in all the spices while you bring up the heat.

Once  hot enough to melt all that cheese, fold in all your cheese and mix until the mixture is creamy and thick. Some fine diced ham or bacon in the mixture at this point would not be awful.

Put the sauce in with the pasta, mix well then place into a casserole dish.

Sprinkle a thin layer of Panko or breadcrumbs over the dish and back for 20-30 minute son 400 until the crumbs are nice and toasted. Enjoy!